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US rumored getting unlocked iPhone 4 Wednesday

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Sun June 12, 2011

US may have unlocked iPhone 4 option Wednesday

Yet more rumors about Apple's mystery Wednesday update have suggested the US might finally get the option of unlocked iPhones. A claim Sunday afternoon has the unlocked iPhone 4 appearing at Apple stores in both capacities and colors. The model numbers, MC603, MC604, MC605, and MC606, all line up with the GSM versions sold abroad but without the regional suffixes that normally apply to international unlocked phones, such as B for Britain or C for Canada.

The rumor is unconfirmed, although it's considered 'certain.' No mention has been made of an unlocked CDMA phone, although the nature of the technology and its limited use outside the US makes it a more difficult prospect.

Apple has regularly sold unlocked iPhones in countries where bring-your-own service is either popular or mandated by law as an option. In the US, however, it has had both little incentive and legal agreements that negated any reason for it. AT&T's exclusive would have made it unfeasible without T-Mobile getting access at the same time. Even with the exclusive having ended in 2011, however, using the iPhone on T-Mobile is currently limited since it has no native 3G support for the network.

Any move may be to appease international travellers, who can get better rates than AT&T can offer by getting prepaid service from a local carrier. It may also be a way of trying to butter the FCC and get its buyout of T-Mobile approved. One of the frequent objections from Sprint was AT&T's likely tighter grip on exclusives should the deal go through. An unlocked iPhone 4 wouldn't help Sprint given the lack of CDMA, but it would set a precedent for the dual-mode next generation iPhone where choosing the carrier might be an option and could include native T-Mobile 3G.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Does this mean

    I can buy an iPhone and attach it to my current ATT plan without waiting for dispensation from Alexander Graham Bell himself?

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +13

    Get your coat, woman!

    We're heading to America for a quick day-trip if this turns out to be true!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -55

    Unlocked iPhones??


    What's with all the Google-like activity going on lately?? Apple seems to be showing more and more Google-like Openess!


    Drroid!

    - Sent from my Android Device.

  1. mr100percent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    unlocked partially?

    In the past, Apple has offered unlocked iPhones in places like France, but restricted to French-only SIM cards. I wonder if Apple will allow a completely-unlocked iPhone.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011

    -61

    iPhone 4?

    They still make those things? I remember when they first came out, people were blowing hard into vuvuzelas at the World Cup matches in South Africa. Now the only thing that blows hard is this antiquated iPhone device.

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